Solomonia has a piece on the broadcast of a Saudi Arabian children’s TV show picked up by MEMRI. Interviewing a toddler, the host asks:
Interviewer: Why did they do that to Muhammad Al-Dura?
Palestinian Toddler: Because they are Jews, villains, dogs. You see? That’s why. They shouldn’t do that, because it’s called killing. They shouldn’t do this. We are not their friends. They shouldn’t do this. We are Palestinians, and they are Jews. They should not shoot people.
Interviewer: Is it possible that we will reconcile with them one day, and there will be peace between us?
A nice illustration of the ways in which Al Durah, which sure looks like a massive media error, duped by Pallywood, continues to contribute to the “endless cycle of violence,” by demonizing Jews in Arab culture.
For yet another example of the way that the Al Durah story serves in the war of hatred, see this children’s story, published recently by a Palestinian press.
“…’What about news of the intifada, granny?’ [And she answered: ‘Today I will tell you a story that roused the emotions of the entire world and exposed the Jewish crime very clearly. With Allah’s grace, a photographer who happened to be present took pictures of the crime and afterwards the incident was broadcast by all the media and all the television stations.’ [Note: The death of Muhammad al-Durra is then presented in detail using expressions which emphasize the evil and wickedness of the Israeli soldiers: “…The soldiers’ teeth protruded as they laughed aloud [when Muhammad al-Durra was shot] like the protruding teeth of wolves grinding the bones of an innocent lamb they have hunted out of the arms of its mother…].
Note several matters of interest: a) the role of the western media and the international reaction as critical affirmation — the killing heard round the world; b) the wickedness of the Israelis, i.e., scenario 1 — murder, demonic killing of innocent child; and c) the imagery of leering, mocking laughter.
There is perhaps no better illustration of how widely held this version of al Durah is believed in Palestinian culture than the statement from Marwan Bargouti in his final defense on trial for planning attacks targetting Israeli civilians (what I believe we mean by the word terrorism) during the second “Intifada”:
‘In the first year of the Intifada, 581 Palestinians and 34 Israelis were killed. This was because the IDF … is the least moral [army] in the world. I want to remind the entire world that saw how the boy Muhammad al-Dura was killed while the soldiers sat and laughed.’
– West Bank Tanzim chief Marwan Barghouti in the closing arguments of his Israeli terrorism trial in 2003.
In other words, for Marwan and his public, their fantasy is so real that they assume that the whole world saw what their fevered and paranoid brains (and Pallywood technology) concocted (not to mention the statistics that he cites).
Now here’s something the media can do to wind the “perpetual motion machine of violence” down. How about helping Marwan and his public do some reality testing?
And yet so-far, the unbreakable instinct of our western media is to play this kind of stuff down, rather than cranking up its exposure and pressuring the Arab world to cease.
Although it’s been a while, and things have changed somewhat, it’s worth reminding people that in late 2000 — right after the Al Durah libel — Palestinian mosques and TVs were ablaze with genocidal language that the media studiously did not report. In the most famous example, shortly after the savage lynching of two soldiers in Ramallah on October 12, 2000, the PA played a sermon in which Sheik Ahmad abu Halabaya defended the deeds of the Ramallah mob:
“Even if an agreement for Gaza is signed, we shall not forget Haifa, and Acre, and the Galilee, and Jaffa, and the Triangle and the Negev, and the rest of our cities and villages. It is only a matter of time… Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them.”
William Orme, the NYT correspondant quoted from this sermon on October 24, 2000 as follows:
“Israelis cite as one egregious example a televised sermon that defended the killing of the two [lynched] soldiers. ‘Whether Likud or Labor, Jews are Jews,’ proclaimed Sheik Ahmad Abu Halabaya in a live broadcast from a Gaza city mosque the day after the killings.”
Note that Orme is specifically giving this quote to illustrate Israeli complaints about incitement to violence. The sermon itself is apparently not enough for him to report the presence of genocidal incitement on Palestinian TV independently. On the contrary, he needs to a) make it an Israeli claim, and b) cite the most anodine passage as its only illustration (as Bret Stephens puts it, a sentiment “of the sort one might have heard in a Connecticut country club”). I must say that if a student ever cited an original source in so tendentious and dishonest a manner, he (or she) would fail. Orme wins awards.
Apparently, the NYT is still at it, five years later in the matter of giving its readership the background of a terrorist recently freed by Germany.
What are we doing with such startling lapses of judgment? Sparing the Arabs the embarrassment of sounding like Nazis? Is this a form of “leveling the playingfield” so that the Palestinians don’t sound so awful that people will no longer sympathize with them? Does it matter that these concerns open the door to hate-mongering and violence? Does it matter that by presenting us an “Al Durah killed by Israelis” the mainstream media opened the gates not only to genocidal Palestinian delerium, but to the scarcely more subtle desire of anti-Zionists to compare the Israelis to the Nazis,? Does it matter that, in not publicly and loudly revising their coverage of al Durah, they continue to keep these gates of hatred and violence open, and at the same time they obscure and devalue the serious, relevant, and frightening comparisons?
Is this the path to peace?